Who Let the Dogs Out?

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pitbullBREAKING NEWS: Thanks and kudos to the Board of Trustees.  The budget amendment to decrease the Middle School staffing ratios has been added back onto the agenda! 

The DISDblog serves several purposes. It provides a safe forum where teachers can vent their frustrations, bring up issues and problems not covered in other media, and offer innovative solutions from the educator perspective. This blog also serves as a “watchdog” over the district and attempts to hold the district and the trustees accountable as to how well they are fulfilling their mission of educating our children and being good stewards of our taxpayer money.

So we watch the trustees. We watch the superintendent and his administration. We listen carefully to what they say at the board briefings, the board meetings, in public appearances. We take note of the promises they make, the answers they give to pressing questions, the votes that are taken. And we follow up on these things to see if they are keeping their word. If they are doing a good job, we applaud them. However, if we find that they are making empty promises, or pulling the wool over the eyes of the public, it is our job to make that known.

“Let the dogs out,” as it were.

At the June 27, 2013 board meeting, the trustees voted to address the issue of the middle school staffing ratios. The administration had proposed increasing the ratio from 1:24 to 1:25, which would result in the loss of 66 middle school teachers. There had been much public outcry, and for good reason. There was no justification for the increased ratio when the district was due to receive more money from the state. Therefore, the trustees voted, 6-2, to “revert back to the staffing ratio of 1-24 in middle schools” and to direct the administration “to come back in August with a budget amendment”. Only Nancy Bingham and Mike Morath voted against this. The crowd cheered this victory for the students.

However, here we are in August. A quick look at the board briefing agenda shows no such amendment as directed by the trustees. The superintendent and the president of the board set the agenda. Who dropped the ball? We don’t know, and frankly, that is not the issue, although it should be noted that the trustees did direct the administration to bring it back in August. It seems they should have directed their president to be in charge of this.

The important issue is this: will the trustees follow through on the promise that they made in June to the public and to the students of DISD? Or was their vote back in June just another “feel good and escape the heat from the public while having no intention of actually doing it” kind of thing?

Did they do this just to keep the public off of their back? If so, we ALL need to let the trustees know that this is NOT acceptable. They voted to roll back the ratio to its original number, and they need to ensure that their intent is carried out. It is not enough to say the right things; they need to follow through with actions, or their words cannot be trusted.

So, what will it be, DISD board of trustees? Are you going to keep your word and actually vote this change into this years’ budget? Or do nothing and hope that no one will notice this broken promise?

The dogs are barking. And, by the way, just so you know, they are all pit bulls. Just sayin’.

 

 

 

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Posted in Giving Grades
64 comments
DOL doo doo
DOL doo doo

Dallas ISD NOT moving forward with communications consultant proposal. (YES!)

“Dallas ISD had stressed that it was looking for a company with “previous experience working with large, urban districts” and based in the Dallas area.

So why didn’t Dallas ISD use the same raison d'être to hire a Superintendent? Hmmmmm, I wonder how many large urban school districts (157,000) hired a superintendent from a minuscule school district (11,000? . . . . . . . . 1)

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/headlines/20130808-dallas-isd-not-moving-forward-with-communications-consultant-proposal1.ece

MrGlen
MrGlen

I am thinking out loud here:  What if Cowan suddenly grew a pair and actually said: "Miles has to go because we have had nothing but trouble and controversy since he has been here." If Cowan had any political ambitions he could do the right thing and "save the working lives of thousands of registered voters" by giving Miles the boot. If he did the right thing by calling for Miles removal, which of the board members would support him, other than Ranger? Who has the least to lose?  Who has the most to gain by keeping Miles. I bet shredders are being worn to the nub at 3700 Ross Ave these past 2-3 weeks.

retiredteacher
retiredteacher

guest321. Notice that when Shipp interviewed Cowan, Cowan doesn't seem so sure about OPR.

I supppse the OPR investigation of Miles is too embarrassing for the BOT. Look for Cowan to try to do away with OPR.

guest321
guest321

Now James Terry is one the Naughty list....Chief Financial Officer for DISD, channel 8 had a report, there was an OPR report, he also was not placed on admin leave and the district is now paying for ANOTHER outside investigation.....wow.


MilesIsaFraud
MilesIsaFraud

Have to say this for the bus drivers.

In Texas, teachers and coaches have always driven buses. This helps us since it puts a trained professional on board.

Miles is using this issue as a diversion from his own serious investigation. The more diversions, the more Miles' bid-rigging and obstruction fades into the background.

Extending the school day captured this group. They have done nothing wrong.

Anyone notice how many of Lew Blackburn's schools didn't make the list of approved schools? Couldn't be Lew, could it?

retiredteacher
retiredteacher

I have no. idea what these people are talking about. The BOT seems to know little about what the administration is up to. Sigh. I'm glad to see Nutall and Ranger state absolutely that they do not want Edwin Flores as chair.

13th Year
13th Year

So did Disd do well or not? And if we did so well why did so many principals get changed?

Here Comes Retirement
Here Comes Retirement

I was reading the state ratings.. so were all the principals moved/ demoted who didn't meet standard, as some who did meet standard were demoted? My question is what exactly was the criteria for demoting and moving principals?  Why would some principals get to stay and others were moved? I don't see how these scores show any improvement or boost in areas using the now famous DOLs, LO's or MRS techniques. So how does this effect FMM's evaluation, he only met standard for our district with his new "techniques"! I assume he is just a 1 on a spot observation!

13th Year
13th Year

Watching live feed--go Carla!

Retaliation Time
Retaliation Time

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Persons that have PTSD are considered at risk include combat military personnel. Miles was in the army. PTSD is believed to be caused by the experience of a wide range of traumatic events. Mike Miles spent weeks in the hospital after surviving a plane crash.

I believe the BOT should follow up on this, because it is serious.

MilesIsaFraud
MilesIsaFraud

State increases on STAAR were largely flat, so DISD meeting the state GROWTH patterns doesn't mean anything.

Don't these trustees ever check anything he says?


ferpetessake
ferpetessake

He is staying on until December 31st now, from the board meeting.

FamilyGuy
FamilyGuy

Does anybody know about these rumors that Allen King is about to be made interim sup.  I have heard on the other blogs and just got a call from somebody. . .again rumors but I would like to know.

BOARDMEMBERALERT
BOARDMEMBERALERT

Board members: Ask Herr Miles how any students at each comprehensive high school have failed at least one EOC needed for graduation. Ask him for percentages also since in two years at least half the students at the comprehensive high schools won't graduate if they have failed at least one test necessary for grad.

The current accountability ratings don't give the sense of impending doom that is actually a fact.

50% or more are not on track to graduate on time.

And don't let Herr Miles tout today's ratings as his doing. Commissioner Williams is going to very slowly increase cut scores in order not to blow most students out of the water.

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

Being a dog lover myself; I say it is a GREAT and beautiful picture.  It conveys the meaning LOUD and CLEAR. This is the image that the idiot (s) must keep in mind about Dallas teachers.

OhLordy
OhLordy

Can it be.........after Todd Williams has run all over town maligning South Dallas high schools...that his own namesake, Williams Middle is on the low performing list?

Can that possibly be?

Old Madison and Lincoln made acceptable ratings after Todd and his spreadsheets spent all that time visiting local media outlets to let them know what failures these schools were.....while all the time students at Williams Prep MIddle were not growing enough to be acceptable.

Hmmmmmm............will Todd revisit the Observer and Bill McKenzie and let them know his own namesake is on the booboo list?

Or will Uplift keep their failures hidden away?

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

This latest development got me wondering.

First the outrageous salary for the first communications director. Now, in lieu of a director, an expensive PR firm contract.

FMM must know that without a strong propaganda machine of some kind, his looney tunes polices don't have a chance in the light of informed discussion.

No, the BOT should let him defend his policies alone. He's already been effortlessly shredded by many knowledgeable writers.

Teacher20
Teacher20

Cowan sat down with Miles and Flores to write the proposal for the evaluation committee. i would think that is all the evidence we need to know where he stands on the subject of MM. He seemed only to backtrack due to the revaluation Micciche and Jones were in agreement with Ranger and Nuttall in opposing Flores appointment. It was fun to watch.

A is for Abigail
A is for Abigail

@MrGlen Lol about the shredders.  If we experience a brown-out, it will be because the shredders at 3700 overloaded the power grid.

A is for Abigail
A is for Abigail

@guest321 I read the transcript from the report; I don't think Terry's investigation has been handed over to outside people.  I think that was referring to the investigation of Miles.  But we taxpayers have still taken a brutal beating ever since Miles arrived, right?

A is for Abigail
A is for Abigail

@MilesIsaFraud Did the bus drivers get their letters right before or right after the announcement was made about Miles' family moving back to Colorado?

Either way, the bus news sure took the focus off Mrs. Miles and young Master Miles.  

Not fishy at all.

A is for Abigail
A is for Abigail

@13th Year The bar was so low in every grade and in every content area that the tests were a waste of time.  All of my strong students passed and most of my weak students passed.

So you can't say anyone did "well," but you can at least identify who (whether schools or districts) couldn't even clear the low bar.

And really, those are the schools we should be concerned with.  Set the bar crazy-low and see who still couldn't pass.  Then focus on those schools--pour resources into them.  

The next year, raise the bar for all the other schools slightly (while maintaining the resources for the first failing group) to see who else might be falling behind.  And so on.


guest321
guest321

@Here Comes Retirement 

I know many principals were put on Improvement Plans because they did complete enough spot observations. This year Admin will be be required to do six spot observations on each teacher they are over with the expectation that they will "conference" with the teacher for 15 about what they observed for each spot observation. That will all be in addition to their regular duties such as dealing with discipline and going over Lesson Plans. I know my admin feels that this will be difficult if not impossible to accomplish. I suspect many AP's will be faking spot Obs....even more than last year....

13th Year
13th Year

Go onto Disd website, click on board of trustees on blue horizontal bar. Then go to board agenda, I think.

What are we going to do
What are we going to do

@13th Year Exactly- BOT saying they want stress levels lower at the campuses! I wonder how that will be done? We need to contact BOT members if it does not happen!

Exceeds and Proud
Exceeds and Proud

Well, how many teachers now have PTSD after working under Miles' regime for a year?

Beer in Hand
Beer in Hand

@Retaliation Time Do not confuse PTSD with being a , well... you know.

A is for Abigail
A is for Abigail

@FamilyGuy I don't know about interim, but I take the extension of his presence to be a good sign.

#hoping

Aztec Warrior
Aztec Warrior

@OhLordy Can you post the link? I could look it up, but that way we'll all be reading from the same page. Thanks!

Book Fairy
Book Fairy

@Teacher20 Yay, I sure let my trustee to oppose Flores! Good to hear that happened. 

A is for Abigail
A is for Abigail

@Teacher20 It also shows what an echo chamber the BoT and DMN live in that they would even suggest Flores.  He is loathed by teachers and the public in general.  He is seen as someone who sought to squash free speech.

Comments on every blog are 100% negative about Flores.

MrGlen
MrGlen

@guest321 @Here Comes Retirement principals were put on improvement plans the minute Miles or the ED determined lack of  loyalty or compliance. Miles doesn't care about quality instruction or the running of a school ( he wouldn't know it if he saw it). Miles only cares about doing things his way, even if it is proven to be ineffective.  Successful people worry Miles. He can't deal with successful people, they are a threat to him.

gagme4thechildren
gagme4thechildren

@for the children @OhLordy 

Then you must live in a separate reality...being all for the children and all..Williams Preparatory Middle and Mighty Prep MIddle didn't meet standards.

Look at the Middle Schools. These ratings place them in the lower 5-10% in the state on student growth.

That means constantly taking benchmarks didn't really engage those middle schoolers in growth.

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

Was it the fear of facing his hostile employees (he reads this blog?) that he moved the Propaganda Pow-Wow from the public fishbowl of an arena to the tightly controlled venue of Skyline HS? Do we add "coward" to his now lengthy list of demonstrated (ICK!) negative personality traits?

soap opera
soap opera

@MrGlen @guest321 @Here Comes Retirement   Another adjective in addition to successful: ciritical thinking. Miles is threatened by people who think and question without an agenda or malice as this concept is foreign to him

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

@OhLordy Their elementary also barely made it. no distinctions at all. No progress at all.

31 SEGUIN EL (101912373) HOUSTON ISD 38

UPLIFT EDUCATION-WILLIAMS PREP PRI (057842101) UPLIFT EDUCATION - WILLIAMS PREPAR 38

32 CARROLLTON EL (057903102) CARROLLTON-FARMERS BRANCH ISD 36

33 MARY MCLEOD BETHUNE EL (057905274) DALLAS ISD 35

34 SHERMAN EL (101912240) HOUSTON ISD 34

35 L O DONALD EL (057905136) DALLAS ISD 33

36 ROSEMONT PARK EL (220905131) FORT WORTH ISD 31

37 DOUGLAS ELEMENTARY (212905108) TYLER ISD 27

38 VIVIAN FOWLER EL (225902104) MOUNT PLEASANT ISD 19

39 IDEA ACADEMY ALAMO (108807107) IDEA PUBLIC SCHOOLS

40 KIPP AUSTIN COMUNIDAD (227820101) KIPP AUSTIN PUBLIC SCHOOLS INC

Top 25% in Student Progress Target = Index 2 Score of 46

NO DISTINCTION EARNED

gagme4thechildren
gagme4thechildren

@for the children

Original comment stated Williams Middle with added Mghty Prep Middle.

It does make these two outstanding in the state since, "According to the TEA: Only 6.5 percent of districts or charters failed any index." (DMN)

Now, we'll wait for Jim Schutze or Sharon Grigsby to write an editorial or blog about these two Uplift middle schools that are in the lowest 6.5% of the state.

Wasn't that the game being played by Todd Williams regarding college readiness indicators for some of the poorest high schools in the state?

Well, we'll wait for the general uproar over the Uplift middle schools, but we won't hold our collective breath.

Strange how Todd is the rabble rouser for a bunch of media people who can't even read data, but his own fail the ratings and not a word will be spoken.

for the children
for the children

OK, got it.  You have to search by campus name ONLY and use the name Williams ONLY to get the middle school and elementary school reports.  You can't search by UPLIFT district (even though this option should work; there is obviously a snafu.)  Lastly, please show a little courtesy and patience in your responses, ms/mr. gagme.

for the children
for the children

OK, got it.  You have to search by campus name ONLY and use the name Williams ONLY to get the middle school and elementary school reports.  You can't search by UPLIFT district (even though this option should work; there is obviously a snafu.)

for the children
for the children

@gagme4thechildren @OhLordy please let me know exactly what you are entering in each of the search boxes and the exact reports you are viewing on the ritter.tea link.  I am just not seeing it.   maybe you can capture a screen shot for me. Thanks.

gagme4thechildren
gagme4thechildren

@OhLordy 

Maybe it was the presence of all those TFA short timers--just like happened in Houston ISD---suffering the effects of constant churn brought by  Terry Grier.

for the children
for the children

@gagme4thechildren @OhLordy please let me know exactly what you are entering in each of the search boxes and the exact reports you are viewing on the ritter.tea link.  I am just not seeing it.  Thanks.


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We know words are powerful and ideas even more so. Profanity isn't really necessary for emphasis or a substitute for passion here. Thank you.

Foundation for Empowerment (FCE) released 3 papers:

1. Disruptive Change: Mike Miles and the Crisis In Dallas ISD, which has been prepared with consultation by education academics, extensive research, review of data and education literature, and meetings and interviews with people of Dallas holding varying and sometimes conflicting points of view;

2. Digging Into Data and Evidence: Mike Miles, Dallas ISD, and Trickle-Down Education Report, by Dr. Julian Vasquez Helig, Lindsay Redd, M.A. and Dr. Ruth Vail; and

3. The Challenge of Disruptive Leadership in Dallas ISD, by Decoteau J. Irby, Ph.D. and Matthew Birkhold, M.A.

"You will see from these papers that, after much research and discussion, we believe the current Superintendent lacks the pedagogical, leadership and integrity qualities necessary to lead Dallas ISD and recommend the Board terminate his contract."

Citizens wanting to speak at regular board meetings and briefings must sign up by calling Board Services at (972) 925-3720 no later than 5 p.m. on the day before the meeting.

Contact the Superintendent and Trustees:
3700 Ross Avenue, Box 1
Dallas, TX 75204

Superintendent Mike Miles
milesfm@dallasisd.org

Lew Blackburn, 1st Vice President
District 5
Term Expires 2016
lblackburn@dallasisd.org
(972) 925-3718
Oak Lawn, West Dallas, Wilmer, Hutchins and portions of East Oak Cliff

Miguel Solis, Board President
District 8
Term Expires 2014
miguelsolis@dallasisd.org
(972) 925-3721
Love Field, Northwest Dallas, and Central Dallas

Eric Cowan
District 7
Term Expires 2016
ecowan@dallasisd.org
(972) 925-3721
North Central Oak Cliff and parts of West Dallas

Nancy Bingham
District 4
Term Expires 2016
nbingham@dallasisd.org
(972) 925-3722
Southeast Dallas, Seagoville, Balch Springs

Elizabeth Jones, 2nd Vice President
District 1
Term Expires 2015
elizabethjones@dallasisd.org
(972) 925-3722
Northwest Dallas, including North Dallas, Addison, parts of Carrollton and Farmers Branch

Mike Morath
District 2
Term Expires 2014
mmorath@dallasisd.org
(972) 925-3721
North and Near East Dallas

Dan Micciche, Board Secretary
District 3
Term Expires 2015
danmicciche@dallasisd.org
(972) 925-3722
Northeast Dallas

Joyce Foreman
District 6
Term Expires 2017
email coming
(972) 925-3722
Southwest Dallas

Bernadette Nutall
District 9
Term Expires 2015
benutall@dallasisd.org
(972) 925-3721
South Dallas and parts of Downtown Dallas, Pleasant Grove, Deep Ellum, Uptown, and East Dallas

"Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people in order to betray them." --Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833